As more and more customers rely on online reviews, social media recommendations, and personalized ads, it’s increasingly important to manage your online presence and reputation. Your efforts will determine much of the success and growth of your insurance agency now and in the future.
See what steps you can take right now to manage your online reputation and improve interactions with your customers.
1. Optimize Google Business Profiles
Google creates business listings based on publicly available information. You may already be listed as an insurance agent on Google Business Profile and Google Maps. This helps customers find you online, read and write reviews, and view information about your agency.
If you haven’t already, claim or create your business listing and update critical information—services, business hours, phone number, website, address—and add high-resolution photos of your location.
Remember that you’re not trying to appeal to every consumer on the internet—just the ones who are likely to convert. Providing up-to-date information on your Google Business Profile listing drives qualified leads your way by matching your business with relevant queries.
An additional step that will help customers convert from your Google Business Profiles is enabling click-to-text features through Apple Business Chat or Google Messages. In the moment of interest, a customer can text your landline to request a quote, schedule a consultation, get answers to FAQs, and more. You can automate replies for around-the-clock service or connect the customer with an agent via text or phone call at a later time.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile can be the first step to improving your reputation from the minute you’re discovered online.
2. Become familiar with review sites for insurance agencies
In addition to Google reviews, you need to monitor sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Insure for ratings. Review sites are additional platforms to connect with your customers, collect feedback, and boost your online reputation.
Some review sites enable customers to request quotes or send messages to your insurance agency, which is another reason it’s important to claim and update your listings on various platforms. After you claim and update your listings on review sites, you can respond to customers, embed your best reviews on social media or your website, and inform customers of the review sites you’re on (think window stickers, review requests, etc).
Each step you take towards improving your online reputation is a step to gaining and retaining more satisfied customers.
3. Ask for reviews via text
Did you know that 9 out of 10 customers prefer to interact with businesses via text? This is one scenario where you won’t have to wait around to see the results of your efforts. Far more effective and convenient than asking for reviews with snail mail or emails, texting has nearly a 100% open and response rate.
Most likely, you have plenty of happy customers who would write positive reviews if you asked, or asked through their preferred channel. You can even automate the request to be sent when a customer converts or renews their insurance policy. Within a surprisingly short time frame, you can significantly boost your reputation and ranking by asking for reviews via text. It’s speedy, convenient, and personal—hallmark traits of a modern customer experience.
4. Respond to reviews
Customers take into account not just reviews alone, but your responses (or lack thereof) to reviews. Responding to reviews (both positive and negative) sends the message that you care about your insurance customers and the experiences you provide. According to BrightLocal, 97% of customers who read reviews also read your responses.
In every way, you want to demonstrate that you go the extra mile for your customers. This includes acknowledging and valuing their feedback. A small portion of time dedicated to this communication channel can pay off now and in the long run, helping you retain and acquire customers.
5. Be intentional on social media
According to Agent for the Future research, more than 70% of independent insurance agents report using social media in their marketing efforts. But not all social media use is of equal value. Consider the social media platforms your target audience is the most likely to use, and focus your efforts on connecting with customers there.
Whether your business page is on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or any other social platform, some best practices for managing your social media presence include the following:
- Provide value in every post and interaction
- Be clear about your services and offerings
- Engage with local communities and brands for awareness
Through the content you share (relevant articles, blog posts, reviews, etc.) and the interactions you have with customers (DMs, mentions, comments, etc.) social media can be a valuable channel to connect with insurance customers and demonstrate the quality of your customer service.
6. Improve your website with video content
Nearly all leads are online now, which makes a well-designed, user-friendly website crucial to upholding a positive reputation. Ads, your Google Business Profile, and other lead sources generally direct customers to your website. However, while many insurance shoppers start their research online, and most are open to purchasing insurance online, not all of them convert.
Think through the barriers that might prevent customers from converting and consider how a thoughtfully designed website can resolve many of these points of friction. For instance, nearly two thirds of consumers prefer watching short videos to learn about new products and services. Adding video content to explain insurance policies and processes could be one way to help customers get the information they need before converting.
In addition to helping customers move through the conversion funnel, an intuitive website design (with helpful information, contact forms, quote requests, and clear calls to action) will help you stand out as a reputable and professional service. Even if visitors on your website don’t yet convert, they’ll come away with a positive impression.
7. Implement web chat solutions
The more complex an insurance policy is, the more likely a customer will want to speak with a live agent. 62% of insurance buyers say speaking with an agent is the most influential factor in their purchasing decision. Yet, phone calls are the most frustrating customer service channel. Web chat can bridge the gap from online research to speaking with an insurance agent and provide a seamless customer experience.
No one enjoys waiting on hold or waiting to hear back from contact forms. With web chat, you can provide instant answers and set up a direct connection to speak with an agent via text or phone call. From the moment a customer visits your website, they see that you’re available to provide the personalized help they need.
This article was originally posted on Podium.com and is reposted here with permission. The views, opinions, and positions expressed herein are those of the author alone, and should not be considered to represent official positions of Liberty Mutual nor to imply any endorsement by Liberty Mutual.